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NBA Trade Rumors: ‘A lot of’ teams may prefer acquiring Darius Garland over Trae Young

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Is Darius Garland a more attractive trade chip than Trae Young? One NBA insider thinks multiple teams believe so. (David Richard-USA TODAY Sports)

NBA Trade Rumors: ‘A lot of’ teams may prefer acquiring Darius Garland over Trae Young

Amid the Cleveland Cavaliers getting eliminated in five games to the Boston Celtics in the Eastern Conference semifinals, The Athletic reported that Darius Garland could look to be moved should Donovan Mitchell sign an extension this offseason.

According to Yahoo Sports NBA insider Jake Fischer, multiple teams may look at acquiring Garland over Atlanta Hawks guard Trae Young–who has a higher pedigree than his counterpart despite being a more polarizing player, respectfully–this offseason.

“A lot of teams will have Darius Garland ranked above Trae Young on their board of wish lists just in the fact that he has been someone who’s even been agreeable to shift his role a bit,” Fischer said on Ball Don’t Lie, a Yahoo Sports NBA podcast he co-hosts with NBA analyst Dan Devine, according to Cavaliers Nation. “With Trae Young, you are, of course, trading for someone, in theory, who only wants to operate out of high pick-and-roll action play after play after play. So, put Darius Garland on the bingo card of potential All-Stars to be considered up for grabs this summer.”

Garland, 24, has taken a backseat to Mitchell over the last two seasons, averaging 20.0 points and 7.2 assists on 45.5 percent shooting and 39.2 percent from 3-point range. He is in the second year of a five-year, $197.2 rookie max extension with a $36.7 million cap hit for the 2024-25 season. His cap hit would be easier to acquire than Young’s $43.0 million, though Young has two fewer guaranteed seasons with an early termination option for the 2026-27 season, per Spotrac.

From a roster-building perspective, a team would likely have to give up less to acquire Garland than Young, which factors into how a team wants to approach trade negotiations when both players are All-Star caliber guards.

Teams who could be looking for a lead guard this offseason are the New Orleans Pelicans, San Antonio Spurs and Brooklyn Nets. The Spurs are reportedly not very interested in Young, but perhaps they would be one of those teams more interested in Garland, who’s another very gifted passer.

This all assumes Mitchell signs the max extension; he’s eligible to sign a four-year, $208 million extension (if it’s offered to him) on July 6. Mitchell may not re-sign and request for a trade, which could leave teams–like San Antonio–with their hands tied if the Hawks are looking to move on from the three-time All-Star.

Young isn’t a bad player, but he’s not as malleable as Garland, and is cheaper, which makes building a balanced roster easier. That’s important in today’s NBA with the onerous aprons making precise, smart roster building all the more important.

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